The quarter finals of the 2016/17 Coppa Italia Serie D has drawn together two the two clubs that went out of business at the end of the 2013/14 season, Calcio Padova and AS Siena, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Padova splintered into two clubs, Biancoscudati Padova and Calcio Padova. It was Calcio that kept the history of the original club but as a result had to start at the bottom of Italian football whereas the phoenix club started in Serie D/C. Siena are also still in Serie D/E, unable to get themselves back into the higher echelons of the leagues.
The quarter final, therefore, will be an intriguing affair. Padova have not set the group alight following two straight promotions and it is their city rivals that top the table. Manager Darwen has reverted from his defenderless approach to his original 3-3-1-3, though still playing defensive midfielders in the back three – mainly due to the fact he released all his defenders in the summer when hanging his hat on his new approach. Slumping to 13th in the table after eight games saw him revert back to the formation that he used, successively, for the first 18 months in the job and he was rewarded with an immediate up-turn in form.
Padova now sit in 6th place, twelve points off the top but only four from 4th spot. The league rules around four U20 players, three U19 and 1 U18 in the starting line up has seen the young talents of midfielders Politi and Xhixhi get even more game time alongside the strikers De Mitri and Ceolin. However, the biggest find of the season seems to the 6ft 4 17-year-old defensive midfielder Zucconi who has moved to the heart of Darwen’s back three since the tactical change and has picked up two goals and four man-of-the-match awards in his eight starts.
Darwen will hope to navigate the side to the full six points available to him before the Robur Siena game and with the side starting to show the kind of form that has seen them win silverware in both of the last two season there is genuine belief that the original Biancoscudati can find themselves in the promotion hunt by the time of the winter break.
La Gazzetta dello Sport